Missing teeth can change the alignment of your teeth and shape of your face. They also may affect the way you speak and chew. Indeed, if you leave a space where a tooth used to be, the other teeth close to it may shift. This, in turn, could result in biting and chewing malfunctions. A dental bridge can solve these problems by filling the gap with artificial teeth attached to the natural teeth next to it or dental implants. Call Aesthetic Dental & Specialty Center today to learn more about your dental bridge options at (661) 290-2825!
What Is a Dental Bridge?
A dental bridge is a permanent fixed device that replaces missing teeth. These artificial teeth literally bridge the gap between remaining teeth. Bridges may be placed on your own natural teeth, on implants or on a combination of both. You cannot take it out of your mouth without professional help. There are different types of bridges. We will recommend you the most appropriate variant depending on the location of the missing tooth (or teeth) and its condition.
- Traditional bridge
Traditional dental bridge features two crowns placed on the teeth on each side of the gap and an artificial tooth or teeth in between. Two teeth that anchor the bridge are called abutment teeth while the artificial teeth are called pontics. Traditional bridges are the most common type of brides; they are usually made of porcelain-fused-to-metal or ceramics.
- Cantilever bridge
There is a situation when abutment tooth is available only on one side of the bridge. In this case, the dentist uses the so-called cantilever bridge. With the cantilever bridge, the dentist applies the same amount of crowns, but different bridge layout. Two abutment crowns are fused together on the same side of missing teeth space with the pontic on the end. Sometimes, only one crown can be enough, depending on how much support the bridge needs.
- Maryland bridge
Maryland bridge (also called a resin-bonded bridge) is made up of a set of artificial teeth bonded by special wings. The wings are bonded to the supporting teeth instead of being attached by crowns. Maryland bridges are usually used for missing front teeth that experience less stress from chewing and biting.
What Types of Problems Can Dental Bridges Fix?
- Fill space of missing teeth
- Reduce the pressure on the other teeth
- Reduce the chances of getting jaw problems such as temporomandibular joint (TMJ)
- Prevent speech problems
- Keep remaining teeth from shifting
- Prevent changes to the bite as the dentition can move because of the gap
- Reduce the potential for gum problems and dental decay
- Restore your smile and maintain the shape of your face
What Types of Dental Bridges Are Available?
For anterior teeth we provide e-max and PFM (porcelain-fused-to-metal) bridges. For posterior teeth three types of materials are available: e-max, PFM and zirconia.
How Long Do Bridges Last?
Dental bridges are very durable and can last a lifetime. With proper brushing, flossing after each meal and regular dental check-ups, it is possible to maintain your new permanent bridge in perfect conditions for many years. A bridge can be destroyed if it loses its support, for example, when an anchoring teeth, gum or bone is damaged by a dental disease. So, keep your teeth and gums healthy by brushing with a fluoride toothpaste.
What is the Process of Getting a Dental Bridge? Is It Painful?
The procedure of getting a dental bridge varies depending on the location of missing teeth. Getting a dental bridge involves drilling to prepare abutment teeth for a bridge, but the procedure is performed under a local anesthesia and is absolutely painless. Only a temporary bridge can sometimes cause a little discomfort and pain. Placing a permanent bridge is usually painless procedure which doesn’t require anesthesia. You can also feel some soreness in the gum after the treatment. This can be relieved by over-the-counter pain killers.
Steps Involved in Applying a Dental Bridge
The dental bridge procedure varies depending on the location of missing teeth and the type of dental bridge. Usually it requires two or more visits.
- Step 1
First, a local anesthetic is injected into the gums near your tooth. After that, the two anchoring teeth are prepared by removing a portion of enamel for a crown. Then, an impression of the space left by your missing tooth and the teeth around it is made and sent to the dental laboratory in order to design a customized bridge. Additionally, a temporary bridge is made and worn until the final bridge is ready.
- Step 2
At the second appointment, the temporary bridge is taken off. Then, the permanent bridge is carefully checked, adjusted and cemented to provide a comfortable fit and bite. When the procedure is over, you will receive further care instructions.
Dental bridges are highly durable and last many years. It is easy to eat with a dental bridge. Start with a soft food cutted into pieces until you become accustomed to the dental bridge. Proper brushing, flossing after each meal and regular dental procedure will help maintain your new permanent bridge in perfect conditions.
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